In today’s sophisticated business environment, do you find yourself in need of a system to bring all aspects of business controls together to produce the highest quality, most economical product and maintain the profit margins your company needs to achieve? Have you been asked to participate in a company-wide program to introduce a business management system that utilized barcodes and labels to keep track of incoming components, sub-assemblies, work-in-process, work orders and finished goods?
Have you been frustrated because when you search for a solution, labeling providers don’t seem to understand what you are looking for?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are looking for an Enterprise Resource Planning system, better known as an ERP system.
An ERP system is a computer application that fuses IT with good business management practices. For example, you can enter an order online and with an ERP system, it automatically sends that order to production, indicating which and how many materials are needed. If there are not enough materials to fill the order, it creates a purchase order for what is needed. These systems provide the ability to manage all aspects of a business from anywhere, with constant flow of information that everyone has access to. If you have many branches, everyone will be able to update and access information, no matter how far away from the main facility they are.
Sounds pretty good, huh? Well that is just the tip of the iceberg. Implementing an ERP system can improve speed and performance, which, in turn, improves productivity. This is done through an ERP system’s ability to synchronize all the data throughout different business units. It allows that information to flow freely, reducing the time needed to search for data. It also streamlines the workflow, since employees can update data quickly to do their job more efficiently. This increased effectiveness typically leads to higher customer satisfaction when they receive their goods faster. It also makes budgeting and forecasting easier, since all sales, shipments, purchase orders, prices, materials used, etc. are tracked. Nothing is overlooked if the system is properly implemented.
Now, you may have heard that starting to use an ERP system can be complicated. We are not going to lie, it can be. There are many different types of ERP systems, and some are very specialized for certain industries. Some systems do not offer the same level of customization that others do. To help find the best ERP system for your company, you may want to hire a professional ERP consultant.
ERP systems use “modules” for different sections of a company that work together to make up the whole program. Since you can purchase each module separately, you only have to buy the modules your facility rally needs. This also means that you can buy them one at time and implement them gradually.
Once you have decided to implement an ERP system, and you know the modules that you want to purchase and integrate into your system, you will have to rethink how you go about your business practices. All employees will have to be trained on how to use the system, and some procedures may have to be revamped in order to function in the ERP system. This is where labeling comes in…
Here at EIM we have discovered that labels with barcodes are key components in a successful ERP system. Barcode labels can go on shipping boxes, product components, storage boxes, machine parts, warehouse floors and many other items specific to your company and work flow. There are numerous advantages to putting barcodes on labels:
• Barcodes are a great way to track items. If your company needs total traceability, barcodes are particularly essential.
• Barcodes can tell the location of items, saving valuable time in the warehouse.
• Barcodes can contain information about the product such as its size, color, package quantity and product type.
• Barcodes can convey what machine was used to make the item, what parts were consumed, who did the work on a certain day and the time.
• Barcodes can also indicate when a product has been completed and shipped.
• Barcodes keep the ERP system up-to-date since all information is automatically entered into the system when the barcode is scanned.
To print those barcodes, we offer BarTender® Software which is a label design-and-printing program. This software allows you to layout your label yourself, including graphics, text, and size, and gets the labels ready to print. BarTender® can be integrated into an ERP system through the use of a local area connection or the World-Wide Web. So when your ERP system says it needs labels, that request is sent to BarTender® where you can pick what labels you need to print. Note: BarTender® is not an ERP system―it is software that integrates with an ERP system.
Now, that solves your label design needs, but you will also need to consider what printer to use. Lucky for you EIM offers a wide variety of Zebra® direct thermal and thermal transfer label printers ranging from small desktop models to full-size industrial units. If you do not want to print your own labels, we can set up special arrangements to print labels for you with fast turnaround and delivery. We can even customize labels to fit your needs with the same materials you might use if you were printing on-site.
No matter what types of conditions your labels have to endure, we have one of the widest selections of label materials in the label industry. We have products to survive every day “office” type conditions on through tough abuse from chemicals, extreme temperatures, outdoor us, UV light and more. Our Label Experts will make sure you have the right labels, no matter what the requirements.
Lastly, we have Motorola/Symbol® barcode scanners, ranging from handheld to cordless long-distance models to scan your labels and send the information directly to your ERP system. This reduces the chance of error from manually entering data into the program, as well as cutting the time it takes to enter the information.
One of the disadvantages that we hear about ERP systems is that there is no continuous support available. Well, rest assured when your purchase software, printers or labels from EIM, we provide continuous technical support. Our Label Experts are available to answer any questions you may have.
As you can see, implementing an ERP system can take some time, energy and financial resources, but the end results out-weigh any short-term disadvantages. EIM is here to provide the support you need and ensure all your labeling needs are fulfilled. Now, when you think about an ERP system, remember to call us first so you know all of your label printing needs will be solved.